Writers Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artists Dave Lafuente & Robbi Rodriquez
Colorists Val Staples & SotoColor
Letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna
By this point in the title, I have dropped the title and missed this issue originally. I also skipped Fear Itself, except for the Uncanny X-Men tie in issues.
I had bought this issue before my birthday and meant to include it in that event but it was too close to the 31 of January so I threw it in the back of my back issues and now here we are.
The New Mutants finally make it to Hel, after a detour in actual Hell, which was Doug’s fault due to his bad translation. So now Magma owes Mephisto a date.
The New Mutants are at this point – Dani, Cypher, Warlock, Magma, Sunspot and X-Man Nate Grey, in an unofficial capacity.
The team gets to Helheim, Hela’s palace. Fear Itself was about ancient Norse evils coming to Earth, so it makes sense that the New Mutants’ tie in would involve Hela as she made Dani a Valkyrie back during the Dark Avengers vs. Uncanny X-Men event that lead to the Utopia era. Now Dani owes Hela a favor.
Before this issue, I own issue 30 and after this issue is 45 so I’m piecing things together as my memory of the then current comics and what this issue provides.
Hela is dead, being run through and place on a spike on the roof.
Lafuente and Rodriguez trade off on different pages and scenes for the issue. The colorists also trade off on pages but they don’t sync up with the particular artists. Makes for a kinetic issue.
The New Mutants and X-Man are getting ready to stand their ground, as this might be it. The oncoming storm of dead Norse characters are on their way to finish the job.
Doug tells Magma that he can translate weather now, as it is all sound and that’s his gig. The storm is angry and reveals names to Doug. Threadcutter, Breathraker, Hearthbreaker, Bloodletter, Bonegrinder these make up the Dramaur, who will kill the team if they have their way.
Like the main threat in Fear Itself, Odin has dealt with them previously and have erased them from myth. Which really plays into the legends aspect of memory, if you are a legend but no one remembers you, are you really a legend?
Doug had one shot to send them to Hel correctly and with time, but do to his mistake, they lost time and he is upset with himself. Magma tries to sooth him. From what I recall, the date is pretty funny and Mephisto shows her a good time. I’m sure it has also been forgotten about as I can’t imagine the X-Office would want Magma to keep a relationship going with the devil himself. Though he is a better match for her than Empath will ever be.
This issue does have some nice matchups with characters that wouldn’t normally be paired together.
Sunspot and Nate are at a different section of the palace, on lookout. Sunspot wonders if Nate regrets coming along with them. Nate states that he didn’t hesitate at all, he just jumped in. He isn’t even part of the team. Which I like how that works out. Their first mission under Abnett & Lanning’s tenure was to rescue X-Man and so they did, from Sugar Man. Nate is nowhere near as powerful as he use to be, he barely has his telekinesis powers. Just because you get rescued and then the team starts another adventure, doesn’t necessarily mean that you are part of the team. They just haven’t shaken you off yet.
After editorial wouldn’t pull the trigger on a Dani / Cannonball relationship, they did try with Nate and Dani but I don’t believe that lasted outside of a kiss here and there, if that. Not every female character needs to be weighted down by a dude.
Nate is bemoaning the fact that his powers are at an all time low. Bobby picks up a piece of hail (it is snowing in Hel, that’s not good) and tells him a piece of advice that Xavier gave him. Concentrate on a small spot, really focus on it and grow your powers from there. Bobby refers to this time as when he was a New Mutant, which still bugs me, they don’t refer to their team as New Mutants do they? It doesn’t make any sense. But do any of the actual teams call themselves by the name on their comic cover? I believe Wolverine’s X-Force did and X-Factor did but Wolverine and the X-Men are called the Jean Grey School. Cyclops’ doesn’t call his team the Uncanny X-Men nor does Kitty call her team the All New X-Men, they only refer to themselves as X-Men, which isn’t really marketable.
Before Nate and ask all of these questions, how neat would that had been? Warlock shouts at them that the Draumar are coming!
They start attacking the palace en mass. Magma blocks some debris from hitting Doug. Warlock doesn’t like their chances as they are not prepared prepared for this, to which Bobby swears at him. I like seeing Warlock with any other character besides Doug, as we know their relationship but not really how he gets along with the other members.
Dani is watching over Hela’s body. A crow keeps trying to peck at Hela’s body, which disgusts Dani. Dani is complaining to Hela that they have no defenses here and could really use some help, as she keeps swatting the bird away. The crow eventually works its way into Hela’s mouth, which really disgusts Dani.
Hela starts coughing and explains the situation. She put her mind into the crow as she knew this was the best course for her survival. Hela makes a joke about it being “foul tasting.” Dani is shock that Hela wasn’t dead. Hela is the queen of the dead, how can she be forced to live by mortal-realm concepts? Hela, once she put her soul into the bird, brought the New Mutants here to safeguard her until the time was right. Dani can’t believe Hela trusted her with her soul. By bringing them there, I mean, she sent a message and Doug, whose power is to translate, didn’t translate it correctly. If he knew it was from Hela, that would have been a nice shortcut.
Hela explains who the Draumar are, they are the spirits killed by Odin, and now have been merged into these giant monsters, and what is keeping them together is the energy of serpent. If successful, they will break out of Hel and then go to Midgard (Earth).
Hela doesn’t know how to defeat them, Dani asks if she can do anything and Hela states she can slow them down, with a smirk. I like this fun Hela, there is no reason why she shouldn’t be. She’s the mother of Loki, and that guy has a bunch of fun.
The New Mutants are then cloaked with Asgardian armor. Which makes Magma look like Magik.
The team closes ranks. Warlock makes a Conan reference, crush your enemy and hear the lamentation of his women, which is a great line. Maybe the best line. Dani catches up to the team, and they are united for the first time this issue.
Bobby jokes that Magma has a date with the devil and she comments that the date will be light compared to this fight. Doug likes having Asgardian vigor. Doug also comments on that this is only a delay tactic. Dani calls him a pessimist and he counters with that he is a realist. Nice to see those two interacting as well, for the same reasons.
Nate has taken Bobby’s advice and is blasting the warrior monsters with energy.
Warlock starts smacking some of the warriors with his limbs. This frightens the Draumar, as they don’t understand his advance technology. Seizing on this new found weakness of fear, Nate has Hela reveal his memories to the warriors. Before she does it, Nate confirms that she is the Goddess of Death. Which her response is awesome “Depending on your belief system I am a specific cultural aspect of” and Nate is okay with that being an affirmative.
So Hela does open his memories to the warriors and we get a pretty nice page of the X-Men of the Age of Apocalypse. Except that the dirt-bag-killing-his-wife-Kitty-Pryde Colossus is there (an action figure never coming to you) so that ruins it, even if he is a very tiny part on the page, he’s still there.
Now this really frightens them. Doug explains that the Draumar are ancient and have not kept up with modern times so they have no frame of reference for any of the images they are seeing. Now they fear these new visions and that starts unbinding them. Thus, the day is finally saved.
Hela is quick to point out that this encounter is over but the bigger fight is still raging on on the surface. But its a decent tie in, a problem that was unique to this title and I’m sure didn’t play any role in the larger Fear Itself crossover.
Hela tells them to go home, as their role is done. Hela needs to go be on Asgard’s side in the conflict. Magma states “don’t mention it” and Hela is quick to state, I won’t.
Danni states, and she didn’t as they are back on Utopia in the X-Brig as they have been telling this story for a third party.
That third party? Is Magik, and the issue ends with her asking, how was Hell? I bought this issue for this one page.
I could have wrote, New Mutants go to Hel, come back and tell Magik what was up. But would that have counted as a post? Maybe not a good one.
So Schism happens after this issue as issue 33 has the Regenesis branding and Magik isn’t shown being told that story.